Frequently Asked Questions: Immigration – FAQs


  1. What is a Family Visa Petition?
  2. What is an Adjustment of Status Application?
  3. What is Consular Visa?
  4. Tell me more about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
  5. What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?
  6. How Do I contact Catholic Charities Immigration Service Center?
  7. What are my rights?


1. Family Visa Petitions
Our caseworkers provide assistance to those trying to obtain immigrant visas so they may unite with family members already living in the United States. A United States citizen may petition for his or her spouse, children (including step-children), siblings, and parents. A Lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S. may petition for his or her spouse, unmarried sons and daughters. Waiting periods depend on what family relationship the petition is based and the nationality of the beneficiary.

2. Adjustment of Status Applications
If a person wishing to immigrate to the U.S. is already in the U.S. and has an approved family-based petition for which the priority date is current, he or she may be eligible to apply for adjustment of status. Complete consultations are necessary to assess an individual’s eligibility.

3. Consular Visa Processing
Persons outside the United States and certain persons in the United States conclude the processing of their visas at American consulates abroad. Immigration Counselors can assist clients with the final documentation necessary for Consular Visa appointments.

The purposes of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation is to assist young adults obtain work authorization and protection from deportation. Since DACA was announced, Catholic Charities has successfully filed more than 1,000 applications.

      DACA Requirements include that an applicant:

  • Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Arrived in the United States before the age of 16
  • Is in an unlawful status before and since June 15, 2012
  • Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012
  • Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 up to the present time
  • Is currently in school, has graduated from high school, or has obtained a GED certificate
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, 3 or more misdemeanors or been a member of a gang

5. DACA provides approved recipients with certain benefits, including:

  • Work authorization for 2 years
  • A valid social security number
  • Deferred Action on any removal for 2 years
  • Travel within the U.S. without restrictions
  • Possible qualification for certain State benefits (i.e. Driver’s license, student loan/grants)


DACA does not provide legal immigration status, a path to permanent residency or citizenship, and it does not allow      the recipient to apply for public benefits

6. Catholic Charities Immigration Service Center Contact Information:


Catholic Charities of Orange County

1800 East 17th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92705


Tel: 714-347-9610

Email: [email protected]

7. My Rights

     Everyone – both documented and undocumented persons – have rights in this country.


     You have the right to remain silent.

You can refuse to speak to an ICE agent. Do not answer any questions, especially about your birth place, immigration       status or how you entered the United States. Say that you want to remain silent until you speak with a lawyer.


     You have the right to demand a warrant before letting anyone into your home.

Do not open your door to authorities without a warrant. You do not need to open the door unless an ICE agent shows        you a warrant signed by a judge with your specific and correct name and address on it. If they say they have one, do          not open the   door for them to show it to you. Ask them to slip it under the door or through a window.

     You have the right to speak to a lawyer and the right to make a phone call.

Make sure to carry the phone number for an immigration lawyer with you at all times.


     You have the right to refuse to sign anything before you talk to a lawyer.

Do not sign anything. That could eliminate your right to speak with a lawyer or have a hearing in front of an          immigration judge. This may result in you being deported immediately without a hearing.


     You have the right to refuse to show any documents before speaking with a lawyer.



We all have certain basic rights regardless of who is president.

Todos tienen ciertos derechos básicos, sin importar quien es presidente.

Click here to download “Know Your Rights”

Haga click aquí para descargar “Conozca Sus Derechos”



Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) News

Given recent presidential election results Catholic Charities of Orange County would like you to be mindful of the following information regarding DACA or DACA renewal applications. We will continue to process DACA renewals for those of you who wish to renew your DACA. We recommend not filing initial DACA applications for the time being. We hope to continue to be a resource for you in the coming months for immigration information as we have it.


Dado a los resultados de la elección presidencial reciente, Caridades Católicas del Condado de Orange le gustaría que usted sea consciente de la siguiente información relativa a las solicitudes de renovación de DACA. Vamos a seguir procesando las renovaciones DACA para aquellos de ustedes que deseen renovar su DACA. Recomendamos no entregar solicitudes iniciales de DACA, por el momento. Esperamos seguirle siendo un recurso en los próximos meses para obtener información de inmigración.


Click Here FOR MORE INFORMATION in English

Click Here FOR MORE INFORMATION in Spanish